“Top Gear” trio set to host new car show for Amazon Prime

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Prime sign up former Top Gear trioLONDON (AP) — The former hosts of the BBC’s popular “Top Gear” program, who left amid scandal over an off-set dustup, have signed up to present a new car show for broadcaster Amazon Prime.British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson, dropped from hit BBC motoring show for punching a producer, will make a new series about cars for Amazon Prime, the streaming service announced Thursday.An Amazon Prime insider has admitted the online retail giant has made a “significant investment” bringing former Top Gear co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to its subscription service. Amazon said Thursday that Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have committed to three series of the show, with the first to be broadcast in 2016. “Top Gear” has won a huge global following with its mix of car tips, driving stunts and jokey banter.

An estimated 350 million viewers around the world tuned in to Top Gear each week to watch the three men review cars and try them out in madcap stunts, making it the world’s most popular factual television programme. Netflix and ITV, the U.K.’s biggest commercial TV network, were thought to be the frontrunners to sign them after they left the BBC earlier in the year. Much of the appeal for fans was Clarkson’s straight-talking, “man of the people” approach, but critics condemned him as a boorish bigot and he was an increasingly controversial figure even before the altercation with a producer in March.

Top Gear has long been one of Britain’s most popular TV exports but was rocked by a succession of controversies that led to the relationship between the cast and the BBC breaking down. Clarkson reported himself to BBC management after admitting to shouting at and hitting Oisin Tymon, giving him a bleeding lip for which the producer sought hospital treatment. “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship,” Clarkson said on the announcement that the trio would be filming three seasons of a new show for Amazon. My guess is that [Amazon Studios vice president] Roy Price will regret this.” Since then the BBC have brought the show home after it appeared on BBC America in April this year and the third series will air on BBC One tomorrow at 9pm. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and Prime, an internet streaming service similar to Netflix, offers subscribers access to thousands of films and television shows, including original content. It’s all about Jeffrey Tambor’s transgender character Maura Pfefferman, who was born Morton Pfefferman, and his family’s reaction after they find out he identifies himself as a woman.

The trio became household names during their time on Top Gear so it might just be worth checking out the new Amazon Prime series to see what they do with it. Amazon’s new car series will add to a growing catalogue of original, exclusive shows that it has commissioned to attract more subscribers to its streaming service.

So far the most successful has been Transparent, a black comedy about a Los Angeles family whose father is transgender, which won a Golden Globe award last year.

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